When brewing espresso there is one critical element to the puzzle, and it is grinding it fresh to a nice grainy powder. To do that obviously you need to have a grinder in your home, the problem being most grinders that are designed for home use don't do a great job of grinding for espresso. Probably, the best line of home grinders on the market are by Baratza..
There is a problem though with those grinders, in order to be fairly affordable and kitchen friendly the burrs they use are small. While to be honest you are going to get an excellent adjustable grind for espresso with any of their grinders, and should be happy with them. There is something left wanting for those of us that are at the extreme of home esresso making, and that leads us into the commerical realm of grinders. BUT they are just that commerical, expensive, huge, bulky, wasteful in grinding small amounts. While people find ways to deal with them, they involve a lot of mods and extra work.
To quench the thirst of home users out there it seems a few people are coming up with less expensive alternatives to those large commerical units in the form of hand grinders. The first obvisouly being the Orphan Espresso Pharos, which uses the same burrs as larger commerical grinders, but in the palm of your hand at only around $ 250 compared to $1500 for it's commerical counter part. Read here.
Now enter the HG One, it's a large 83 mm flat burr hand grinder, using the same burrs as the Mazzer Major. While the price is going to be high at $850ish dollars, it's really designed for the home user and it has me excited about what I am seeing.
From the photo we can tell it's grinding directly into the portafilter for espresso, which is going mean less wasted coffee, and nothing to have to clean between shots. This is a big concern with commerical machines used in the home because the coffee can get stuck in the grinder, you might have to grind a few or more grams above how much you want to use and then risk getting stale coffee from your previous use.
It also seems like it should be able to fit in a kitchen at 17 inches tall, it should be able to fit and not look awkward like a commerical machine that cannot fit without taking off the hopper.
Of course there are concerns that we will have to see about, does it really grind well enough to justify the price? if those burrs and crank are not supported properly the burrs will wobble and the grinding will be off. The material also has to hold up over years so again the grind will be true.
Overall, it's very promising and I will be looking closely at it. For further discussion look here.
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